The new Coronavirus continues to ravage around the world- concern is not just to the rapid spread of the virus itself, but also the effect forces more and more countries to introduce strict control measures, people hoard important materials and prepare for long-term self-isolation. So, what specific efforts have the major tech giants made to alleviate the social impact of the disease, especially in the context of countries and companies that encourage people to work from home?
At present, the most effective means of controlling the outbreak is to avoid frequent contact between people as much as possible; therefore, social media has become an increasingly important channel for news communication and human contact. Several social media giants are taking steps to limit the spread of negative misinformation and false content related to the epidemic, while ensuring a channel of communication.
Facebook recently revealed that they will ban any ads that claim to “cure” the new Coronavirus infection, while working to enable users to connect with the World Health Organization and other local government/officialinformation publishers. In addition, Facebook provided a $ 20 million donation and provided free advertising space for WHO to convey important information.
At the same time, Instagram added a notice above each feed, listing links to reliable medical information sources, and prohibiting any non-authoritative organization from posting all virus-related content within the app. On Twitter , if users search for tags related to the new Coronavirus, the system will give a similar notification and provide a link to the local health department (such as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Twitter is also working to remove all conspiracy-related tweets and warn corporate customers to manage this activity.
Combining its own apps and websites, Amazon helps people to obtain the current fair prices and correct purchase channels of masks, toilet paper and hand sanitizers as quickly and easily as possible. The company, like Twitter, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, encourages employees to work from home. Amazon has previously provided two-week paid holidays for employees who have been diagnosed with infection, but many partners have expressed dissatisfaction, saying that in actual implementation, Supermarket (owned by Amazon) encourages employees to treat themselves as normal “Paid leave” was donated to infected employees to “reduce sick leave”.
In addition to adapting its this year’s Global Developers Conference to an online live broadcast format, Apple is also actively removing all types of applications without official health organization and government backgrounds to prevent them from wantonly publishing misinformation related to the new Coronavirus. Apple has also closed many physical stores, and at the same time stopped the trial service of AirPods and Apple Watch to avoid cross-infection among people.
Similar to Apple, Google has also started working in its Play Store app store to clean up all applications that may spread false information. Google has also established a professional knowledge base to ensure that the correct information related to the COVID-19 virus always ranks high in the search engines; they also plan to cooperate with the US government to establish a special website to provide the public with information related to the local epidemic and health resources Information broadcast service. In the end, Google pledged a $ 7.5 million donation to fund the COVID-19 Joint Emergency Fund established by WHO.
Other companies are also working to release news related to virus infections and provide advice and guidance to the public.Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian rented a billboard in Times Square, urging people to stay at home until “the epidemic has eased.”
In addition, companies are also controlling travel as much as possible. Airbnb has announced that it will launch an booking cancel service within the next month, which means that any individual who cancels a booking for any reason, no matter how long it is before the departure time, will not cause any booking losses. Uber said this week that they will provide two weeks of financial assistance to those driver groups who have contributed to the quarantine. Grubhub will no longer charge marketing costs to restaurants, helping those operators who have drastically reduced their customers’ footfall.
As most people started staying at home, the popularity of food delivery services began to increase rapidly. Postmates has added new contactless shipping options to its app; Instacart has also launched a new “delivery right at the door” method during the epidemic. DoorDash and Grubhub also encourage users to communicate with the courier over the phone, and try to complete meal transfers as much as possible while avoiding encounters.
Yes, major technology companies have taken action to ensure that we have the correct information on the epidemic and help us stay at home .